Front cover of The Legend of Zu DVD.

The Legend of Zu



out of

Directed by:

Tsui Hark


Ekin ChengSky King
Cecilia CheungDawn / Enigma
Louis KooRed
Patrick TamThunder
Kelly LinAmnesia (?)
Wu JingYing (?)
Zhang ZiyiJoy
Sammo HungWhitebrows

Writing Credits:

Tsui Hark
Li Man Choi

Martial Arts Director

Yuen Wo Ping


From Poker Industries This is no longer available in the US. Here is a link to the HKFlix note on this.


All, I think

Video Signal:


Tsui Hark scored last year with Time and Tide so I was eager to see the sequel / remake of 1981's Zu, Warriors of the Magic Mountain which, while incomprehensible to me, was one of the inspirations for John Carpenter's classic Big Trouble in Little China.
It is a constant battle between good and evil and the current evil is Insomnia bent on destroying all the martial arts schools that stand between he and the world. Insomnia moves against Omei CLan but Sky King, the sole remaining disciple of Kun Lun, and Red, who has wings with chrome feathers, fight him allowing Whitebrows, the Grand Master of Omei, to immobilize him. Red slices him up with his razor pinions but Insomnia's essence escapes in a drop of ichor.
Insomnia is tracked down by all the students of Omei, led by Hollow and Enigma, who is the reincarnation of Sky King's teacher, Dawn, who was killed by Insomnia 200 years before. Another battle ensues and a cave opens in the nearby mountain. It is the lost Blood Cave and Insomnia escapes to it. Red is left to guard the cave while the others go to regroup. There he meets the tiny Amnesia.
Hollow and Enigma try to merge, to gain the full power of the Heaven and Thunder Swords, but the attempt fails and Whitebrows forms a new man, Ying, from Hollow's spirit trapped in his Thunder Sword.
Legend of Zu is slightly easier to follow than the original and it is certainly a greater spectacle, with massive use of CGI. However, it could use some humor. Ying, trying to find a sword that will alow him to fly provides a rare moment of levity. Also, the flying swordsmen were awesome to begin with, especially Red, in the end, the effect was overused.
This is not a martial arts movie despite the presence of Sammo Hung and the choreography by Yuen Wo Ping. The action is performed with wires and CGI. This does not prevent the fights from being cool but don't be expecting any identifiable moves.
No performances stood out for me. Ekin Cheng was playing that stoic swords guy he has been doing since Storm Riders. Cecilia Cheung was also playing a role similar to what we've seen before, though more serious. Because the tone of the film was so consistent somber, no characters seemed to have much opportunity to present any sort of range.
The DVD is gorgeous, with an anamorphic picture allowing full enjoyment of the panoramas. However, it has one glaring flaw for those of us who do not speak Cantonese or Mandarin. Several speeches have no subtitles! Also, in the solid areas there was noticable pixelization.
The movie is convoluted with little character development but this is balanced by some incredible, impossible scenes. It is worth seeing for the eye candy.

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